Down and Out

The gig at the Oval Tavern started late despite the best laid plans, Bernie the guitarist, for once in his life actually wanted to get to the gig early, to “chill” as he put it. Mr. Cool indeed! We duly left at half five, hardly time to digest breakfast, but you have to humour people some of the time. The journey was laced as usual with lots of swearing at inconsiderate motorists, i.e. everyone else on the road. Nothing new here then and nothing to delay us you would think. However there’s always one, isn’t there? Or maybe two or three…

We were doing really well until we got south of Brixton then everything ground to a semi-crawl. By the time we had reached the descent to Streatham (well going south is going down isn’t it?) we were only fifteen minutes away. Then came the detour…Either some clowns had had a road-rage shoot-out or just lost control of their vehicle or vehicles or their sense or senses. We shall never know, and if anyone does know, I don’t want to!

The main road being blocked off by the police, we started on part two of our saga. This took us eventually, and I mean eventually, to the sunsetting environs of Tooting. About then we received a call from Jim our bass player to warn us that there was a detour. We politely informed him that we knew, in fact we were ahead of him. Time passed, as it does somehow, then we received another call from Jim telling us he was lost, as if it had never occurred to us. To cut a long story short, we arrived with about twenty minutes to spare, but Jim didn’t.

However he did finally arrive and we proceeded with our usual panache and decorum to preach the blues message. This needed certain real-ale lubrication, which we gladly applied, courtesy of Graeme and his team of real-bar staff. I was even persuaded to part with a couple of Waydown Cd’s. I was reprimanded by one of the buyers, for not letting people know I had any, but they are getting scarce. Then back to the cradle of civilisation, a lamb shawarma in Edgware Road’s Little Arabia, just round the corner from Tony Blair’s pad (Yes, I know the place is going downhill). And so to bed.

Ben, my eldest grandson was the duty chauffeur for the Inn On The Green gig and delivered us in plenty of time. A couple of musician friends of Dino, guitarist/ vocalist John Lehman and bassist Steve Yorke, dropped by to see him; John sat in with us towards the end of the gig as did Carmen Carr. Chris Youlden and Jim Mercer were also in fine voice. Perhaps I was too, because I was repeatedly told during the next few days, what a great gig it had been, but of course they could have meant everybody but me. Such false modesty does not become me, does it? You’re right, it doesnt!.

Talking of the Inn On The Green, there will be a weekly Blues Jam starting there on next Wednesday, 24th September, which I may well check out. Well, I’d probably be there anyway, but it is an extra incentive, isn’t it? But enough of the future. Hang on though, about the future, I’m supposed to be going to a barbecue party this afternoon, celebrating a friend’s birthday, The Autumn Solstice and of course, World Peace Day. “Three for the price of one!” That’s the way to beat the recession! There are two snags… We are supposed to bring instruments and actually play and we are supposed to wear fancy dress. I told my friend I would come as a down and out bluesman. She was delighted. Wait till she sees me in my ordinary everyday outfit….

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